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Massage Today
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01

Better Access to Alternative Care

By Editorial Staff

Dr. James Gordon, chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, stated at a December 5 press conference1 in Washington, D.C., that the commission plans to recommend to Congress in its interim report on July 2001 that CAM therapies become more integrated in mainstream health care.

"The experience of these people and other testimony we have heard convinces us that improvements in the provision of CAM therapies are crucial," said Dr.


Dr. Gordon also suggested that reimbursement for CAM services become a benefit under Medicare and Medicaid. "If these government agencies began reimbursing for these services, other third-party payers would follow suit."

Established by President Clinton in March 2000, the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy functions to "provide a report, through the Secretary, to the President on legislative and administrative recommendations for assuring that public policy maximizes the benefits to Americans of complementary and alternative medicine."


  1. Courtesy of Reuters Medical News, December 5, 2000.

Michigan HMO Offers Massage, Other CAM Services to Members

Care Choices HMO, a subsidiary of Trinity Health - Michigan, has signed an agreement with Landmark Healthcare, Inc., a nationwide complementary alternative health care provider, to provide Care Choices HMO members with a full range of alternative health care services.

Under the guidelines of the agreement, Care Choice HMO members have full access to massage therapy, chiropractic, and nutritional counseling at discounted rates.

Commenting on the new program, Care Choices HMO's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Baker, enthused: "Our decision to work with Landmark to establish a complementary wellness program provides our members with access to a full range of alternative healthcare services that meet growing consumer needs."

Members can choose practitioners from the HMO's "Natural Options Provider Directory" and present their ID card when arriving for treatment. Landmark is managing the provider directories for the massage therapy, chiropractic and registered dietician networks. For more information, contact Landmark's website at

Northwestern Health Sciences University Adds Massage Program

Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota is now offering a 760-hour massage therapy program. The program, consisting of five 15-week academic terms, includes more than 350 hours of hands-on lab and clinical experience at seven public clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

"Professional massage represents an important niche in the health care field," commented Mike Skoglund,MA, associate dean of Northwestern's College of Arts and director of the massage therapy program. "The massage therapy program at Northwestern is dedicated to advancing the public's perception of massage therapy and increasing public acceptance of massage therapy as an important health care option."

The university also offers programs in chiropractic, Oriental medicine, acupuncture, and integrated health and wellness.

NIH Announces New Centers for Dietary Supplement Research

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the University of Arizona at Tucson will be the sites for Centers for Dietary Supplement and Research with an emphasis on botanicals.

The awards were granted by the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), in collaboration with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) - two arms of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - bringing the total to four NIH-supported centers studying the health effects of botanicals. In 1999, dietary supplement research centers were funded at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Purdue Center for Dietary Supplement Research on Botanicals will study the health effects of polyphenols, a group of chemical components common to such foods as soy, grapes and green tea. The University of Arizona Center will focus on the healing properties of ginger, turmeric and boswellia.

"These competitive awards of approximately $1.5 million each per year for five years were made as a result of efforts by Congress to explore more fully the potential role of botanical dietary supplements," noted Paul Coates,PhD, director of the ODS.

Stephen Strauss,MD, director of NCCAM, added, "These centers will critically evaluate various botanicals presently in use, and provide valid information to aid the American public in making informed decisions."

Foot Levelers Expands Continuing Education Seminars to Include Massage Therapists

Foot Levelers, Inc., a provider of flexible orthotics, continuing education seminars, and other health care services to the chiropractic profession since 1952, has expanded its continuing education program to include massage therapists.

Scheduled seminars will focus on evaluation of the lower extremities, myofascial therapy, and practical skills to manage stress, reduce physical and mental pain, and increase overall energy.


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